Biggest-Ever Union Rally Boosts Union Negotiators as National Bargaining Heads Into Extra Innings
ANAHEIM – After an unprecedented show of strength by more than 2,500 union members who rallied at national bargaining, labor and management reached a few tentative agreements, but called for more bargaining on August 28-29 to finalize a new National Agreement.
“On Sunday morning, our members delivered the message that we must secure a fair raise for all, protect our benefits, and get partnership back on track,” said Mark Stewart of UFCW Local 21. “Management heard us, and they will keep hearing from us for the rest of the summer — and into September if necessary. We will not rest until we have a good agreement for every member of our Alliance.”
Record-breaking Rally: More than 2,500 union members — more union members than have ever gathered in the 20-plus years of Partnership bargaining — flooded the ballroom, hallways, and an adjoining ballroom at the Hilton Orange County on a steaming-hot Sunday morning. Music blared, friends greeted each other, and a festive atmosphere of unity prevailed. See the video here.
“In the 25 years I’ve been with labor, I’ve never seen such a powerful mobilization,” said Denise Duncan of UNAC/UHCP. She called KP’s proposal to allow shifts to be cancelled with as little as two hours’ notice “absolutely unconscionable.” She recalled her years as an RN with previous employers who would cancel shifts two or three times a pay period, leaving coworkers unable to pay bills, and retiring in poverty. “We need to keep up our mobilization to protect our paychecks and our pensions, and we’re going to make sure our families have what they need at the end of each and every pay period!”
The Steelworkers’ Valery Robinson called on Alliance members to “take this rally back to your workplace, stay fired up and focused – all summer long. Keep telling our story and wearing our colors, stickers and buttons on Union Days.” She also cautioned members against falling for rumors or divisive tactics from non-Alliance unions who want to see our members fail.
Alliance Bargaining Goals: Union members listened and applauded as Alliance speakers presented our Union interests to the management bargaining team, emphasizing that if KP wants to continue to provide industry-leading care, they must also continue to provide industry-leading wages and working conditions — for all Alliance unions.